By Scott Gilfoid: Josh Warrington (30-1-1, 7 KOs) put on a head-clashing clinic on Saturday night, repeatedly head-butting Mauricio Lara (23-2-1, 16 KOs) until his left eye was cut to ribbons in the second round, causing their rematch to be halted and the fight ruled a technical draw at the Headingley Stadium in Leeds, UK.
What’s odd is the referee not stopping the action in the first round to warn Warrington when he first started with the head-butting.
I mean, had the referee done his job, the fans that showed up to watch the Lara vs. Warrington 2 might have seen a nice little brutal fight.
Josh was butting Lara from the first round, and it got worse in the second when he started getting lit up by the Mexican puncher. Lara was showing no respect for Warrington with the way he jumped on him in round two when Josh continued with the head-butting.
Lara was in a ‘no mercy’ type of seek & destroy attacking style, and Warrington looked like he wanted no part of it. Hence, the head-butting became more frequent. Finally, Warrington opened Lara up after lowering his head and rushing forward like an angry goat.
Warrington put on a beautiful display of head-butting tonight and some really textbook shots with the crown of his head. I hate to say it but looked intentional to Gilfoid. Was Warrington trying to get out of the fight by cutting Lara with head-butts? It looked that way to me.
The way the fight was going, you could tell that Lara was on his way to scoring another knockout of Warrington. In between being smashed by head-butts, Lara was beating Warrington like an old rug in the second round.
It was painfully obvious that if not for Lara being cut, he was going to knock Warrington out quicker than he did last time. I’m just saying.
Did Warrington intentionally head-butt Lara?
We don’t know if Warrington’s game plan for the fight was to rough Lara up with a head-clash to cut him or what. Whatever the case, the way Warrington fought ensured the fight would be stopped quickly with Lara being cut.
Gilfoid has never seen so many head-clashes in a short period of time without a referee stopping the action to warn a fighter. The guy that needed to be warned and penalized was Warrington in this writer’s view because he was like a goat tonight rather than a fighter.
With the severity of the cut over Lara’s left eye, the was no choice in the matter. The fight had to be stopped because the cut would have worsened, particularly with the way Warrington was head-butting.
Sure, you can call Warrington’s head-butts accidental, but Gilfoid lost track of them all after seeing at least eight of them. The best shots that Warrington landed in the fight were from his head-butts, with him lowering into ramming position and charging forward to smash into the face of Lara.
Warrington says he’s “gutted”
“I’m absolutely gutted. You saw the reception when we walked out,” said Warrington after the fight. “All these people paid their hard-earned money and wanted to see me get redemption tonight.
“These things happen and it was the first time it’s been as serious as this. I thought I opened him up with a punch in the first round. A clash of styles or whatever exited him.
“I’m absolutely gutted. In the first round, I thought, ‘How did I get beat?’ in the first round. How did I get knocked out. Obviously, we had a game plan to be a bit more defensively sound.
“Yeah, I felt like with this crowd here, I was tempted and eager to get in a little scrap and put on a good performance. But that was always going to come,” said Warrington.
It looked to me like Warring was relieved that the fight was stopped after the second round rather than him being “gutted.” He seemed pleased.